The Wondering Eagle is going to let atheists and skeptics explain how they de-converted from Christianity. As we embark on this occasional series I want to lay down the guidelines for people who read and engage so we can have a pleasant discussion.
“It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”
“Gullibility and credulity are considered undesireable qualities in every department of human life — except religion … Why are we praised by godly men for surrendering our ‘godly gift’ of reason when we cross their mental thresholds?”
Starting today The Wondering Eagle is going to start sharing de-conversion stories from Christianity. I like to write about atheism and faith crisis, and this is a topic that is very important. I believe that many atheists and skeptics are sitting on stories that should be told and shared with the world. There are some good websites like Ex-Christian.net but if possible I would like to break the mold and go in some dark places and talk about difficult things that you won’t find in many Christian blogs. Why? Because I resonate with many parts of the atheist and secular crowd due to a faith crisis that I had that consumed half my thirties.
My Impression of Many Atheists and Skeptics
These are some thoughts I have about the atheist and skeptic communities that are part of the reason why I want to write about such topics.
- I believe that many atheists and skeptics have faced discrimination and have been hurt by the modern Christian church. Some of the stories I hear from time to time anger me. Its an issue that deserves frank discussion and acknowledgment.
- I believe that many atheists and skeptics are misunderstood and deserve to be listened to. Many Christians can be quite arrogant and dismissive when instead I wish they would actually listen.
- I have found atheists and skeptics to be committed to truth and value science and reason. Those are all good traits and valuable. Their honesty is to be commended and recognized. In some ways its refreshing to have that open commitment to honesty.
- Many atheists and skeptics like to share and talk. They have points and stories they want to share and tell. The world needs to hear these stories. There is so much we can learn from them in this process.
- Many atheists and skeptics are passionate, caring, and kind. There are many strands to the atheist and secular movements and this is something that is not given enough thought or devotion. The vocal evangelical atheist doe snot represent the entire movement, just parts of it.
Building a Bridge and Learning
I would very much like to build a bridge with the secular community and create an environment where people can learn and listen. Many evangelicals talk down or talk at, but do not listen to others. I would like to help change that in creating an environment where people can share, and others can listen. I think this is especially important as the nones grow and more people are not affiliated with anything. But I am hoping that others from a reader to a pastor can learn and listen from what atheists are saying.
Guidelines for Atheists and Skeptics in Such Posts
There are really none. I want to do these posts for those in the skeptic and atheist community. I want you to be able to express yourself, and speak your mind freely. You will not have to worry about censorship or anything like that at all. I want you to feel comfortable. I would like to do these kinds of posts once a month.
Guidelines for Christians in Such Posts
These are the guidelines for many Christians. I want these to be clear, concise and followed. I want to create a unique environment where people can speak their mind and explain why they left Christianity, or why they don’t believe in it. I would like to create an environment online where people can discuss and talk. These are the guidelines for evangelical Christians.
- You will be respectful of each and every atheist who tells their story.
- There will be no rude comments or put downs. If that happens they will be removed and I will put you into slow moderation. That means I will approve the comments after a few hours, and if you still are difficult then you will be given the boot for a while.
- You can engage and ask questions and dialog.
- There will be no standard evangelical put downs of “Well…you where never a Christian to begin with.” Skip it…I addressed thinking like that in posts like this.
- You will not try and convert them. I am not trying to convert them I am trying to give them a platform to freely speak where they will not feel pressure.
- You will empathize with their pain, (if there is any…) that came about due to difficult family situations.
I am making this up as I go so this will change in the course of time. This is a start, and I hope this gives us some basic guidelines. As always please know that I love you guys!